Local News

Unemployment up in every N.C. county

Posted January 6, 2009 10:37 a.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2009 10:48 a.m. EST

— Unemployment increased in all 100 North Carolina counties in November, according to state figures released Tuesday, and the number of counties with at least 10 percent unemployment quadrupled.

“Manufacturing, retail trade and services sectors have been hit hard during this national and worldwide economic slump,” Harry Payne, chairman of the state Employment Security Commission, said in a statement. “Retail trade was down because many employers did not take on more workers during the holiday season as they have in the past. Also, textile and furniture manufacturing continue to struggle in the global economy.”

Total employment dropped in November by 80,559 workers, while 43,601 workers joined the ranks of the jobless during the month. The number of unemployed in North Carolina is at an all-time high.

Orange County, which has a 4.7 percent unemployment rate, is the only county in the state where unemployment is below 5 percent. Meanwhile, the number of counties with unemployment at or above 10 percent jumped from four in October to 17 in November.

Edgecombe County has the state's highest unemployment rate at 13.3 percent, followed by Scotland County at 13.1 percent.

Both Wake and Durham counties reported 5.8 percent unemployment, while Cumberland County posted a 7.6 percent unemployment rate. Johnston and Franklin counties each had unemployment rates of 7.4 percent.

Statewide, $127.6 million in unemployment benefits was paid to 141,298 people, compared with $119.2 million to 123,207 people in October.